Source Librivox recording of a public-domain textRun time 20:08:55
recording of The Moonstone
, by Wilkie Collins.
The story concerns a young woman called Rachel Verinder who inherits a large Indian diamond, the Moonstone, on her eighteenth birthday.
The book is widely regarded as the precursor of the modern mystery and suspense novels. T. S. Eliot called it 'the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels'. It contains a number of ideas which became common tropes of the genre: a large number of suspects, red herrings, a crime being investigated by talented amateurs who happen to be present when it is committed, and two police officers who exemplify respectively the 'local bungler' and the skilled, professional, Scotland Yard detective.
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(Summary from Wikipedia)
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March 9, 2012
I was disappointed in this one. The ending was so predictable and needlessly drawn out. Seriously. If one single development comes as a surprise in the final few chapters, you haven't been paying attention. On the reading, a couple were excellent, others were a bit annoying.
June 3, 2011
This was my first Wilkie Collins, and I enjoyed it. I look forward to listening to more of his work.
My favorite part of the novel is that Collins write from different perspectives, including that of the lower class. Quite honestly one of my favorite parts is listening to the butler talk about his wife.
The readers were easy to understand and did good credit to the book. It was a very nice listen.
July 24, 2009
From Wikipedia: Rachel Verinder, a young Englishwoman, inherits a large Indian diamond on her eighteenth birthday. It is a legacy from her uncle, a corrupt English army officer who served in India. The diamond is of great religious significance as well as being enormously valuable, and three Hindu priests have dedicated their lives to recovering it. The story incorporates elements of the legendary origins of the Hope Diamond (or perhaps the Orloff Diamond).
Rachel's eighteenth birthday is celebrated with a large party, whose guests include her cousin Franklin Blake. She wears the Moonstone on her dress that evening for all to see, including some Indian jugglers who have called at the house. Later that night, the diamond is stolen from Rachel's bedroom, and a period of turmoil, unhappiness, misunderstandings and ill-luck ensues. Told via a series of narratives from some of the main characters, the complex plot traces the subsequent efforts to explain the theft, identify the thief, trace the stone and recover it.
My comments: Mike Gardom reads quite a few chapters and does an excellent job. The balance of the chapters are taken by a variety of Librivox readers. Most are done quite well and on balance, this book is well read and easy to listen to. Wilkie Collins tends to be a bit long-winded in his writing, but the many twists and turns keep the plot interesting.